We Care Peru: Mobile operators join forces to work on disaster response

July 11, 2017

Bitel, Claro, Entel and Telefónica Movistar Support United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by Signing the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter to Assist Communities, Consumers and Humanitarian Institutions in Emergencies and Crises.

Lima: The mobile industry in Peru today launched the “We Care Peru” initiative focused on disaster preparedness and response and humanitarian emergencies. Mobile operators Bitel, Claro, Entel and Telefónica Movistar signed the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter, pledging to work together on a coordinated awareness campaign using social networks, digital media and websites to create a culture of prevention in vulnerable areas and reinforce best practices during emergencies.

“Mobile networks and the connectivity they provide can be vital for people affected by natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of GSMA Latin America. “As a mobile ecosystem our aim is to support communities in times of crisis and help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by fully leveraging mobile technology.”

The Humanitarian Connectivity Charter outlines three shared principles of commitment, with the aim of:

  • Enhancing coordination within and among mobile network operators before, during and after a disaster;
  • Scaling and standardising preparedness and response activities across the industry to enable a more predictable response; and
  • Strengthening partnerships between the mobile industry, government and the humanitarian sector.

The mobile industry in Peru is implementing key actions to improve disaster preparedness and response. To help people affected by landslides and heavy rain, mobile operators in Peru last week launched the “TELEFÓN” #UnaSolaFuerza campaign to gather donations through text messages (SMS). In March and April, they sent out early warning SMS about rivers likely to burst their banks and possible landslides. Other operator initiatives and actions include allowing users to send free SMS and public phone service from affected areas, providing collection points for donations and support in distributing them, continuously monitoring the state of the networks, and coordinating maintenance work with authorities to ensure connectivity and coverage in affected areas.

“At CLARO we have demonstrated our firm commitment to the country since we joined the Peruvian market in 2005. We share the objectives of the “We Care Peru” campaign developed by the GSMA in various countries, particularly because we operate in a country where natural disasters occur often and can strike any time. Our pledge in signing the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter is a key milestone in line with our mission of delivering telecommunications services, anticipating our customers’ communication needs and fostering wellbeing and development in the community, and this is even more tangible in disasters and emergencies. We have a range of actions and contingency plans in place for emergencies, and communication plans so customers can make good use of networks in these situations,” said Juan Rivadeneyra, Director of Regulatory Affairs, CLARO Peru.

 

“In Peru, mobile operators have a combined total of more than 30 million connections, making us one of the most convenient options for helping victims in disasters and emergencies. At Entel, our purpose is to connect the people of Peru as we grow in a sustainable way, and that means taking a responsible attitude towards our operations and the impact they have. That’s why Entel has reaffirmed its pledge to society by signing the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter,” said Nino Boggio, Head of Institutional Relations, Entel.

“Mobile networks and the connectivity they provide can be a lifeline for people affected by natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies. We are aware that, as a telecommunication company, our ability to prevent and react is essential for people affected by an emergency situation. For this reason, continuous and coordinated work between operators, governments, NGOs and the international community is key for a rapid and effective response by emergency teams in the event of disasters. The signing of the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter is an important step in that direction,” said Dennis Fernández, Director of Strategy, Regulation, Wholesale Business and Transformation of Telefónica.

“The telecommunications company Bitel feels strongly committed to be part of the We Care Peru campaign, which unites the four most important mobile operators of the country to address emergency situations and disaster response. In the face of what happened in March 2017, which greatly impacted the northern regions of Peru, Bitel acted to support not only its own customers, but also the wider community, enabling free calls and SMS to customers of any operator, in Ancash, Arequipa, Huancavelica, La Libertad, Lima, Tumbes, Piura and Lambayeque. In addition, food was collected and immediately delivered by teams of volunteers from our staff,” said Raul Galdo, Deputy General Manager of Bitel.

Underscoring the mobile industry commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the GSMA We Care campaign is an initiative of the region’s leading mobile operators to ensure all their users can enjoy the life-changing benefits of mobile technology in a safe and secure environment. To achieve this, operators have decided to join forces as an industry and take on a series of commitments in every country in the region where mobile phones and networks can provide solutions to social problems. The initiative has been launched in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, and will continue to expand across the region.

Launched in 2015, the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter now includes 115 signatory operators in more than 77 countries.

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